THE PARK AVENUE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
OF ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, MASSACHUSETTS
January 7, 2001 REVISION
ARTICLE I. MEMBERSHIP
This church will welcome into its membership all persons who propose to live a Christian life.
Section 1. Classification of Membership
The membership shall be divided among three classifications: active, associate, and inactive.
Section 2. Active Membership
Professing Christians shall be admitted as active members by:
a) Profession of faith, having been baptized, or presenting a letter of transfer, stating the applicant is a member in good standing of another Christian church, or renewal of covenant, and,
b) Election at any regular or special meeting of the church or of the Church Council, by a majority vote of the members present and voting at such meeting, and publicly owning, or assenting to the covenant and being received formally into membership generally during a Sunday morning service of worship, unless a different time is appointed by the Board of Deacons, and signing the roll of active membership, thereby subscribing in writing to the church covenant and bylaws.
The Board of Deacons shall make recommendations for the guidance of the church or Church Council concerning each prospective member.
Section 3. Associate Membership
Members of another Christian church who do not wish to assume full membership may be admitted to a limited standing, designated as associate membership, by:
a) Election at any regular or special meeting of the church, or of the Church Council by a majority vote of the members present and voting at such meeting, and
b) Being received formally into membership during a Sunday morning service of worship, unless a different time is appointed by the Board of Deacons, and
c) Signing the roll of associate membership.
The Board of Deacons shall make recommendations for the guidance of the church or the Church Council concerning each prospective member.
Section 4. Voting Privileges of Active and Associate Members
The voting privilege of members is by the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 67, Section 52, as amended. For the purpose of these bylaws,
members shall have the right to vote on all matters and associate members shall have the right to vote on financial matters only.
Section 5. Code of Active and Associate Members
a) Be faithful in all spiritual duties essential to the Christian life.
b) Be present whenever possible at the church services.
c) Contribute according as each may be able, to the temporal prosperity and spiritual welfare of the church.
d) Share in the organized work of the church.
Section 6. Transfer of Active and Associate Members
a) An active or associate member may, upon his/her request, receive a letter of transfer to another church.
b) The clerk of the church is authorized to issue such a letter immediately and the action taken shall be validated at the next church meeting or Church Council meeting.
c) The applicant’s membership here shall cease on date of issuance of a letter of transfer.
Section 7. Inactive Membership
If in the opinion of the Board of Deacons any member is no longer in communication with the church and has not responded to reasonable efforts in person or by mail to inquire of his/her concern for the church, said committee may instruct the senior deacon or church clerk to send a letter to the member at his/her last known address stating that unless they hear of his/her wishes to the contrary, his/her name will be placed on the inactive list. After 30 days from the date of mailing said notice, such action may be taken by vote of the church or Church Council.
Section 8. Termination of Membership
Any member may, by a letter of resignation, terminate his/her church membership and such resignation shall be reported at the next meeting of the Church or Church Council.
ARTICLE II. OFFICERS
The officers of the church shall be the minister(s), moderator, vice-moderator, treasurer, clerk, senior deacon and associate senior deacon, all of whom shall be active members of the church.
Section 2. Minister
a) Whenever a vacancy occurs, a committee appointed by the moderator and approved by the church or the Church Council shall recommend a minister. His/Her appointment shall require a two-thirds affirmative vote of the church membership present and voting at a duly called church meeting.
b) He/She may be installed or recognized by the Metropolitan Boston Association (or its legally constituted successors) if the church and the minister so desire.
c) It shall be the minister’s duty to preach the word, to care for the stated services of public worship. to administer church ordinances, and to promote the spiritual welfare of the church and to those whom it serves.
d) He/She shall be non-voting ex-officio member of all committees.
e) He/She shall make a written report at the church annual meeting.
f) He/She shall hold office without limitation of time. However, the ministerial relationship may be dissolved at any time not less than three months after written notice of such intention has been given either by the minister to the church, or by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the church active membership present and voting at any duly called and held church meeting, subject in either case to prior consultation with the appropriate representatives of the Metropolitan Boston Association (or its legally constituted successors) if so installed.
g) The three months’ time limit may be modified by mutual consent.
Section 3. Additional Ministers
When an additional minister is authorized by the church, he/she shall be secured by a committee appointed by the moderator. The committee and the minister shall designate the additional minister’s tenure and duties.
Section 4. Moderator and Vice Moderator
a) The moderator (or in his/her absence, the vice-moderator) shall preside at all church and Church Council meetings and at all of the meetings of the Executive Committee.
b) The moderator and the vice-moderator shall be elected for a term of one year and shall not serve in their respective offices for more than three consecutive terms without the intervention of one year.
c) The moderator and vice-moderator shall be non-voting members of all committees ex-officio.
Section 5. Treasurer
a) The treasurer shall disburse funds, except the Deacons’ Fund and the Memorial Fund, as the Finance Committee, the committee chairs (within their budgetary limits) or the church or Church Council shall direct.
b) The Deacons’ Fund shall be withdrawn in favor of the minister at his/her written request, and the disposal thereof shall be made at the discretion of the minister in conference with the senior deacon or the associate senior deacon according to the needs made known to the minister.
c) The Memorial Fund shall be disbursed upon the majority vote of those present and voting at any meeting of the church or of the Church Council after consideration of the recommendations of the Memorial Fund Committee.
d) The treasurer shall report to the Church Council at its monthly meeting as to actual revenues and expenditures. The treasurer’s report shall include such other information as may be deemed appropriate and necessary.
e) The treasurer shall report to the Annual Meeting as to the actual revenues and expenditures for the preceding year as well as the condition of the various accounts and funds for which the treasurer maintains records. The annual report shall be in written form.
f) The treasurer shall provide information to the Finance Committee as may be needed in monitoring the financial activities of the church.
g) The treasurer shall provide information regarding the financial activity of the church to the Church Council, officers, and committee chairs as requested.
h) The treasurer shall be elected at each annual church meeting for a one year term of office. The treasurer may serve no more than six consecutive terms without a one year interval.
i) The treasurer shall give bond with a fidelity company as surety for the faithful discharge of his/her duties in such company and in such amount as the Finance Committee shall determine. The expense of the bond shall be paid by the church.
Section 6. Clerk
The Clerk shall have the following duties:
a) Keep a true record of the proceedings of the church, the Church Council and the Executive Committee meetings.
b) Keep a register of the members of the church with dates of their reception and removal; and a record of baptism, marriage and death.
c) Issue letters of transfer in accordance with votes of the church or the Church Council; or as otherwise provided.
d) Retain on file all communications and written official reports, unless and until otherwise directed by vote of the church or the Church Council.
e) Give required notice of all church and Church Council meetings. The clerk’s term of office shall be for one year and thereafter until his/her successor shall be elected and shall enter upon the duties of office. The clerk shall be sworn.
ARTICLE III. PERSONNEL
Section l. Assistant Treasurer
a) The assistant treasurer shall be elected at each annual church meeting for a one year term of office. He/She may serve successive terms without limit, if nominated and elected at successive annual church meetings.
b) The assistant treasurer shall act as treasurer upon the prolonged absence of the treasurer, or upon the disability of the treasurer as determined by the finance committee.
c) The assistant treasurer shall act as treasurer for temporary periods upon the written request of the treasurer.
Section 2. Collector
The collector shall have the following duties:
a) Receive moneys contributed to the church except moneys to be held by the treasurers of the auxiliary church organizations.
b) Keep a true record of contributions and pledges and notify those in arrears each quarter.
c) Deposit all moneys received by him/her in the name of “The Park Avenue Congregational Church” in such bank or banks as designated by the Finance Committee and account to the treasurer each week.
d) Render a report to the regular Church Council meetings and a written report to the church annual meeting.
e) Be a member of the Finance Committee ex-officio.
f) Give bond with a fidelity company as surety for the faithful discharge of his/her duties in such company and in such sum as the Finance Committee shall determine. The expense of the bond shall be paid by the Church.
g) The collector shall be elected at each annual church meeting for a one year term of office. He/She may serve successive terms without limit, if nominated and elected at successive annual church meetings.
Section 3. Assistant Collector
The assistant collector shall have the following duties:
a) Render assistance to the collector as the collector may request.
b) In the absence or disability of the collector, perform the collector’s duties.
c) Be a member of the Finance Committee ex-officio.
d) The assistant collector shall be elected at each annual church meeting for a one year term of office. He/She may serve successive terms without limit if nominated and elected at successive annual church meetings.
Section 4. Auditor
The auditor shall have the following duties:
a) Audit the records of the church treasurer and the church collector, with the assistance of two members of the Finance Committee delegated by the chair of the Finance Committee.
b) The records of the church treasurer and church collector shall be audited at least annually.
c) Render an annual report to the church or the Church Council.
d) Make such audit and other financial report as the church or the Church Council shall direct.
The auditor shall be appointed by the moderator and shall serve for a term of one year from the date of appointment.
Section 5. Church Historian
The church historian shall have the following duties:
a) Be authorized to preserve the extant records, and to make them available to qualified persons for due cause.
b) Cooperate with, and undertake such duties as are recommended by, the Congregational Historical Society.
c) The church historian shall be elected for one year and thereafter until a successor shall be elected and shall enter upon the duties of the office.
ARTICLE IV. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The Executive Committee shall have the following duties:
a) Advise with all church committees and church officers to coordinate the various activities of the church, to see that the policies and programs adopted at church meetings or at Church Council meetings are executed.
b) Serve as the church nominating committee.
l. As such it shall make nominations at the church annual
meeting for the various officers and committees except the
organizations’ representatives who are elected by said
2. Should one or more vacancies occur during the church
year this committee shall submit nominations for election
by the Church Council to fill such vacancies.
c) In consultation with the appropriate standing committees, make an annual evaluation of all paid and not elected staff members.
d) This committee shall consist of the moderator, vice-moderator, ministers, treasurer, clerk and three other persons none of whom shall be a chairman of any standing committee.
e) The “three other persons” shall be elected at the church annual meeting at which or after which these bylaws are adopted, for a term of one, two, and three years respectively; thereafter, one such member shall be elected each year for a term of three years but such member shall not be eligible for re-election to the committee without the intervention of one year.
f) The Executive Committee shall be responsible for revising the minister’s position guide covering the duties and responsibilities of the minister. Either the committee or the minister may initiate the discussions leading to such revisions.
g) The Executive Committee shall be responsible for creating and revising the job description covering the duties and responsibilities of an additional minister. Either the committee or the minister(s) may initiate the discussions leading to such revisions.
h) The Executive Committee shall be responsible for creating and revising the job description covering the duties and responsibilities of the church secretary and any other office staff.
i) The Executive Committee shall have supervision over and responsibility for the annual evaluation of the church secretary and other appointed office staff, and all paid and not elected staff persons in consultation with the following standing committees as specified below:
Staff Member Standing Committee
Minister Board of Deacons
Organist, Choir Director Music Committee
Sexton Property Committee
Christian Ed. Director/
Youth Music Director Christian Ed. Committee
j) Assist the Finance Committee with preparing the annual church budget by making salary recommendations to the Finance Committee for the positions of minister and additional minister; church secretary and any other appointed office staff; and Treasurer and any other elected officer or elected personnel who may receive a salary.
k) The Executive Committee shall be responsible for recruiting or appointing persons to represent this church at association, state, and national meetings, conferences, and councils. The representatives will return their report of the meetings as directed.
ARTICLE V. CHURCH ADMINISTRATION
Section l. Church Council
a) The Church Council shall be the general administrative body of the church and shall have authority to act in all matters, except as otherwise provided, subject to appeal to, and revision by a duly called and held regular or special church meeting; however, the Church Council shall have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, or transfer any real property of the church, or disburse bequests or legacies. The Church Council may authorize the rental of real property of the church.
b) The Church Council shall consist of the ministers, deacons, moderator, vice-moderator, treasurer, clerk, collector, the at-large members of the Executive Committee, and the chair of each of the standing committees, all of whom shall be active members of the church. One accredited representative from such auxiliary organizations as are currently active, and who petition for representation, and who by vote of the church are admitted annually to the Church Council shall be represented on the Church Council.
c) At meetings of the Church Council, a quorum shall consist of fifteen of its members. Each member of the council, or in his/her absence his/her delegated alternate, shall have one vote only, irrespective of office, committee or organization he/she may represent. The moderator shall vote only in case of a tie. (see Article I, Section 4, for voting privileges).
d) The Council shall meet monthly unless otherwise voted by the council.
e) Special meetings of the council shall be called by the clerk (or in the clerk’s absence or refusal to act, by any member of the council) upon request of the moderator, or of the minister, or of any three members of the council.
f) Any person connected with the church may attend any meeting of the Church Council, and may speak, but only members of the council may vote.
ARTICLE VI. THE STANDING COMMITTEES
Section l. Membership
a) Unless otherwise specified, each standing committee shall have at least three members, one of whom shall be the chairperson.
b) Committee members’ names, including the chairperson, shall be presented by the Executive Committee, and members shall be elected at the church annual meeting for a term of one year except where otherwise expressly provided.
c) No one may be chairperson for the same committee for more than three consecutive years without the intervention of one year.
d) Should vacancies occur during the year, the Executive Committee shall submit nominations for election by the council, to fill such vacancies.
e) Each committee shall, if possible, have some of the previous year’s members on it.
f) When a vacancy occurs during a member’s term of office, the person elected to fill the vacancy shall serve the unexpired term of the person whom he or she succeeds.
Section 2. Duties
a) Each committee shall be responsible for the planning and consummation of any policy or program the church or the church Council shall decide concerning such committee’s specific field.
b) Each committee shall prepare and present an annual written report to the church annual meeting.
Section 3. Board of Deacons
a) The Board of Deacons shall have no more than twelve members to consist to the extent possible of six men and six women.
b) The Board of Deacons shall elect a senior deacon and an associate senior deacon annually.
c) The term of office shall be three years. No person shall serve for more than two consecutive full terms without a one year absence. At each church annual meeting, four deacons shall be elected for a term of three years.
d) Members of this committee must be active members of the church. The Board of Deacons shall have the following duties:
aa) Advise with the minister concerning the services of worship.
bb) Provide for pulpit supply in case of need.
cc) Assist with the preparation and administration of the sacraments.
dd) Promote the spiritual welfare of the church.
ee) Care for the sick and needy.
ff) Inquire concerning absentees.
gg) Seek to enlist new members.
hh) Make recommendations concerning receiving new members and placing members on the inactive list.
ii) Be responsible for and have oversight over the selection and duties of the Welcoming Committee.
jj) Be responsible and have oversight over the duties of the Chancel Guild.
e) The Deacons Fund–a discretionary non-budget item, made up of contributions by the members and friends of Park Avenue Congregational Church (PACC) for the purpose of assisting those in need. The fund will be administered under the following provisions:
aa) The fund is to provide financial assistance to families or individuals for purposes commensurate with the corporate charter and bylaws of PACC.
bb) The Minister in consultation with the Senior Deacon or his/her designate may use money from this fund to assist those in need. Said consultation does not require the disclosure of those being assisted.
cc) No portion of the fund shall be expended for the benefit of the Minister, the Senior Deacon or any member of their families.
dd) The Senior Deacon shall provide a report not less than annually to Board of Deacons.
ee) The report shall contain the funds balance at the beginning and end of the accounting period, the total of the contributions made to the fund during the year, the number, the dollar amount, and the general purposes of the distributions made (but the names of the recipients will not be disclosed).
Section 4. Finance Committee
The Finance Committee shall have the following duties:
a) Be responsible for the preparing and raising of the budget.
b) Approve all disbursements to be made by the treasurer, except those disbursements which have been authorized by the Church Council, or, as stated in Article II, Section 5,.Paragraph b).
c) Be responsible for maintaining adequate insurance on church property and for bonding those persons required to be bonded.
d) This committee shall have no jurisdiction over the Deacons’ Funds.
e) In no case shall this committee have the power to buy, sell, mortgage, or transfer real property, or disburse bequests or legacies, without a special vote of the church authorizing such action. In no case shall this committee rent or lease church property without the authorization of the Church Council as provided in these bylaws.
f) This committee shall consist of nine members. The term of office shall be for three years. At the first church annual meeting following the adoption of these bylaws, three members shall be elected for a term of one year; three for a term of two years; and three for a term of three years. At each succeeding church annual meeting thereafter, three members shall be elected for a three year term.
Section 5. Property Committee
The Property Committee shall have the following duties:
a) Oversee the general maintenance of the church buildings, of the furnishings, of the grounds, and of alterations which may be found necessary, excepting those otherwise specified.
b) Consult with the Church Beautiful Committee before making any changes which affect the appearance of buildings or of furnishings.
c) The power to appoint and to dismiss the sexton and/or assistants to the sexton, and shall designate and supervise his/her or their duties. The Property Committee shall recommend to the Finance Committee the salary for the sexton and assistants.
d) The power to authorize the use of the church buildings, land and church-owned furnishings for religious and social purposes of recognized church organizations, and for such other purposes as may be recommended by the Property Committee and approved by the church or by the Church Council including the oversight, arrangements and scheduling of use by groups renting church property.
e) The chair of the Property Committee may appoint such sub-committees as he/she deems necessary to accomplish the committee’s duties.
f) In no case shall this committee have the power to buy, sell, mortgage, or transfer real property without a special vote of the church, authorizing such action. In no case shall this committee rent or lease church property without the authorization of the Church Council as provided in these bylaws.
g) The chair of this committee shall be a member of the Church Beautiful Committee, ex-officio.
Section 6. Hospitality Committee
The Hospitality Committee shall strive to foster a welcoming atmosphere by:
a) Serving refreshments after Sunday morning worship.
b) Providing refreshments for social parties, luncheons, and other events held in behalf of the church, as authorized by the church or by the Church Council.
Section 7. Christian Outreach Committee
The Christian Outreach Committee shall have the following duties:
a) Foster the program of mission education.
b) Strive to develop within the church a mission program of constructive action.
c) Endeavor to keep the church in helpful relations with community, state, national and international projects for the general betterment of social conditions.
d) Examine all special appeals for funds and make distributions from their annual budget and income from the Hayes Memorial Fund.
Section 8. Music Committee
The Music Committee shall have the following duties:
a) Be responsible for and have supervision over the musical program of the Church.
b) Be responsible for the care and use of the musical equipment and musical properties of the church.
c) Appoint and dismiss all musical personnel with the exception of the Youth Music Director.
d) Be responsible for approving the content of music played through the outdoor amplifier.
e) Members shall not serve for more than three consecutive years without an interruption of one year.
Section 9. Publicity Committee
The Publicity Committee shall be responsible for the promotion and publicity of church activities through the outside media.
Section 10. Christian Education Committee
The Christian Education Committee shall have the following duties:
a) Be responsible for the Christian education program of the church.
b) Be responsible for and promote all young people’s religious and social activities of this church which are not under the jurisdiction of any other committee.
c) The Christian Education Committee shall consist of twelve members with terms of office of three years, the terms of four members expiring each year. No person shall serve for more than two consecutive full terms without a one year absence.
d) A youth committee with the duty of supervising all young people’s religious and social activities of this church shall be a standing sub-committee of the Christian Education Committee. In addition to those members of the Christian Education Committee serving on this sub-committee, it shall have on call youth workers to aid in its program.
e) The power to appoint and to dismiss the Christian Education Director,the Youth Music Director, and/or assistants and shall designate and supervise his/her or their duties when such positions are authorized by the church.
f) Assist the Finance Committee in preparing the annual church budget by making salary recommendations to the Finance Committee for the position of Christian Education Director, the Youth Music Director, and assistants.
Section 11. Memorial Fund Committee
The Memorial Fund Committee shall:
a) Acknowledge and keep a record of all memorial gifts to the Church.
b) Maintain the registry of memorial gifts.
c) Consult with the donor and the Church Beautiful Committee or other appropriate committee on the purchase and placement of memorial gifts.
d) Make recommendations to the Church Council as to the disbursement of the memorial fund.
Section 12. Church Beautiful Committee
The Church Beautiful Committee shall have the following duties:
a) Give consideration to any proposed gifts or proposed purchases in respect to church furnishings and decorations and accept such gifts as are in good taste and harmony.
b) Collaborate with the Property Committee on choice of decorations and renovations.
c) Make recommendations for consideration of the church or Church Council on matters pertaining to this specific field.
d) The chair of this committee shall be a member of the Property Committee, ex-officio.
Section 13. Church Life and Growth Committee
The Church Life and Growth Committee shall:
a) Maintain an awareness of church membership trends.
b) Analyze apparent reasons for changes in membership levels.
c) Develop and recommend actions that can be taken by committees, congregation, or staff to increase membership.
d) Work with all committees to develop programs and plans to promote church growth in each committee’s area of responsibility.
e) Monitor effectiveness of actions taken.
Section 14. Auxiliary Organizations
Nothing in these bylaws precludes the formation of auxiliary organizations. These organizations may be formed through action taken at a church annual, regular, or special meeting, church council meeting, or through ad hoc efforts. Provision for representation of any auxiliary committee on the church council is discussed under Article V. Church Administration, Section 1. Church Council, paragraph b).
Presently existing auxiliary organizations include but are not limited to the Chancel Guild (see also Article VI.3.d)jj)), the Fair Committee, the Teaching Parish Committee, the Telephone Committee, the Welcoming Committee (see also Article VI.3.d)ii)), and the Womens Guild.
ARTICLE VII. MEETINGS
Section l. Public Service of Worship
a) Public service of worship shall be held every Sunday in this church except when this church is cooperating in a union service held in another church.
b) Public services of worship may be held at such other times as the Board of Deacons deems advisable.
Section 2. Church Annual Meeting
a. The church annual meeting shall be held during the month of January, the hour and date to be set by vote of the Church Council.
b) Notice of the church annual meeting shall be publicized at least seven days prior to the date specified for the meeting by:
1. Posting the warrant at the main entrance to the Church
2. By mailing a copy of the warrant to all active and associate
members at last known abode of said persons.
c) Annual reports from all committees and organizations shall be presented in writing.
d) The officers and committees shall be elected.
e) Any other business may be transacted which may legally come before the meeting.
Section 3. Church Special Business Meetings
a) Church special business meetings shall be called by the clerk (or in case of the clerk’s absence, or refusal, or inability to act, by any member of the church) upon the request of the moderator or, of the minister, or any seven active or associate members.
b) Notice of a church special business meeting shall be publicized at least seven days prior to any proposed meeting by:
1. Posting the warrant at the main entrance to the church
2. Mailing a copy of the warrant to all active and
associate members at last known residence of said persons.
Section 4. Parliamentary Procedure
All church annual and special business meetings and Church Council meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, current edition, unless otherwise specifically excepted by these bylaws.
Section 5. Quorum
a) A quorum of fifty active members shall be required for all church business meetings, except as provided in paragraph b.
b) A two-thirds vote of members present and voting shall be required to buy, sell, mortgage, or transfer real property or disburse bequests or legacies, under which circumstances a quorum of seventy five active members shall be required
c) Unless otherwise specified, a majority vote of the members present and voting shall be necessary to carry any motion.
d) At any annual meeting of the church, or special meeting of the church, or meeting of the Church Council, a majority of the members present and voting may authorize the use of proxy voting at an annual meeting of the church. The motion(s) authorizing the use of proxy voting at an annual meeting is (are) to include a specification (in outline form) of the topics on which proxy voting will be allowed.
e) The Church Clerk will be directed to oversee the development, distribution and return of proxy forms and to provide each recipient of a proxy with the complete text of the motions to be voted upon. The Clerk will also advise each recipient on how to return a proxy vote and be registered, without disclosing (except to the Clerk) the identity of the voter.
f) At any meeting where proxy voting is authorized the quorum count when debating or voting on the issue(s) for which proxies are authorized shall include each member present in person or by proxy.
g) These amendments to the bylaws (Article VII, Section 5., d), e), f), g) ) will expire on January 31, 2002, unless a majority vote of the members present and voting at an annual meeting, special meeting, or meeting of the Church Council authorizes its extension.
Section 6. Church Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the church shall be from and including the first day of January to and including the thirty-first day of December.
ARTICLE VIII. AMENDMENTS
a) These by-laws may be amended at the church annual meeting or, at any church special business meeting provided that notice is given that an amendment is to be acted on at said meeting.
b) Such action shall require a two-thirds vote of “Active” members present and voting.
c) These by-laws shall take effect and supersede all previous by-laws, upon adoption.
Constitution and first bylaws adopted 1902.
Bylaws revised at various times.
These bylaws incorporate changes through January 7, 2001.